Partners in Education marked the end of the school year by recognizing and thanking Aberdeen Proving Ground organizations and local schools during a luncheon at Top of the Bay May 4.
School officials and APG representatives from APG organizations and leadership were present to give and accept awards.
Under PIE, military units adopt a school and coordinate with teachers and staff to provide educational support or assistance to its students.
Eileen Campbell, APG School Liaison, shared the Local Action Plan, and thanked Dawn Kilmon, a parent volunteer who works closely with the local schools. She also thanked and introduced Michelle Shaivitz, Harford County Public Schools coordinator of Partnerships for Student Achievement, who presented a slide show of PIE activities.
Col. Jeffery S. Weissman, APG Garrison and deputy installation commander, presented a video about the current and upcoming projects for base realignment and closure and APG 2012 to help those that work outside the installation understand the magnitude of transformation coming to APG.
"It is amazing when you see this kind of leadership throughout the community, something important must be going on," Weissman said. "It is very important, and our children are our most important asset; they are our future. Without partnerships like these, we would not have a future."
Weissman added that educators are critical to the success of APG's future. More than 8,000 new positions will be added at APG, and many jobs on APG require a science or technology background, so it is vital that students become interested in these subjects.
"We need an educated workforce to fulfill all the new positions that are coming in," he said. "We are interested in setting our children up for success."
He added that the Army Community Covenant has brought installations closer together within their communities.
"We need to continue to partner with folks like you, hopefully working with folks inside and outside the gate," he said.
Weissman commented about how BRAC and APG 2012 are challenges for local officials.
"I think in the future, partnerships will be even more important. I thank you for being a part of this," Weissman said.
He commented how leadership is sensitive to the challenges of relocating, and that PIE helps ease the transition. The Peer Helper/Student 2 Student program, for example, assigns current students to new students to get them acclimated to a new school.
"Civilian Families will face some of the same challenges as military Families do when they are relocating," Weissman said.
"This is probably the best example of what this partnership can do," he said. "We are looking to improve other partnerships as well, to improve the quality of life at APG and outside of the gate."
Maj. Lilieth Whyte, 61st Ordnance Brigade S3, read the recognitions.
"The schools and organizations honored were awarded for their outstanding efforts to provide children with the tools to become good citizens, to develop and grow as individuals and to contribute to our nation's growth, prosperity and well-being," Whyte said.
Weissman and Col. Bobby Towery, commander of the U.S. Army Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School, also gave a few words of thanks and presented the recognitions with Weissman.
"If you didn't care in your hearts for the children you wouldn't be here. On behalf of the armed forces, I thank you for what you do each and everyday. You are all heroes," Towery said.
Special Certificates were awarded to the following groups/individuals:
Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 61st Ordnance Brigade under Capt. Jacob Grabia, was recognized for their outstanding efforts in mentoring and demonstrating the Army Strong philosophy with Edgewood High School students.
Representing the U.S. Army Environmental Command, Bob DiMichele accepted recognition for the consistency of their efforts and dedication of commitment with Edgewood Elementary School students.
Dr. Rob Lieb represented the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Materials World Module and was recognized for its development. Their inquiry and design-based teaching skill sets enhanced by new technology, will affect the critical thinking skills of middle school students in all Harford County public schools.
Towery was recognized for his outstanding efforts from 2006 through 2008 in supporting the PIE through the Field Training Experience at FOB [Forward Operating Base] Wolverine and the development of a PIE standard operating procedure.
After the schools were recognized, Campbell and Shaivitz received the Commander's Award for Civilian Service.
"It has been a great year," Campbell said. "Harford County Public Schools have worked well with us in establishing the first Local Action Plan to improve student transitions. Aberdeen schools have been most proactive in providing an additional Middle School Jump Start for summer transfers, and Peer Helpers/S2S groups will provide greater assistance for hundreds of high school relocating students.
"The Partners in Education Luncheon was APG Garrison's demonstration of appreciation for improved communication. We provided certificates of recognition and pins to the partners in an effort to say thanks for their teamwork. So many individuals were vital in our efforts to improve community relations. We took this time to thank each one," she said.
Aberdeen High School
61st Ordnance Command & Staff Dept
Aberdeen Middle School
61st Ordnance Brigade
Churchville Elementary School
APG Marine Corps Detachment
Edgewood Elementary School
Army Environmental Command
Edgewood Elementary School
Headquarters & Headquarters Company
Edgewood Middle School
143rd Ordnance Battalion
Halls Cross Roads Elementary School
Noncommissioned Officers' Academy
Meadowvale Elementary School
APG Air Force Detachment
Roye-Williams Elementary School
16th Ordnance Battalion
St. Joan of Arc RC Elementary School
Joint Personal Effects Depot
Cecil County Public Schools
Edgewood Chemical Biological Center
Harford County Public Schools
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Harford County Public Schools
Edgewood Chemical Biological Center

HCPS/APG Local Action Plan
Timely records transfer
A Memorandum of Information & Parents' Records Request will remind out-processing Soldiers of a 7- to 10-day processing period to request copies of records.
Easy transition-first two weeks
School counselors will provide outreach to students and resources to parents and staff.
School Liaison will publicize the Army Stabilization Act.
An HCPS representative will attend meetings in preparation for BRAC.
School calendars, schedules
Develop/maintain school-based and school liaison Web sites.
Provide HCPS calendar, events and schedule information.
Teacher professional development
APG provides Transition Counselor Institutes that address successful transition practices.
Supporting the school partnership
Maintain partnerships in education with local school systems.
Establish the new HCPS Local Action Plan using the Memorandum of Agreement as the guiding principle.
Provide information on graduation/promotion requirements.
Assist students transitioning into careers/college.
Establish an HCPS Partnership Liaison and APG School Liaison partnership to promote career fairs and greater communication.